Papaver Somniferum


Papaver SomniferumPapaver somniferum is commonly known as poppy seeds. In Hindi, the name is Khas-khas.

Poppy plant is indigenous to Asia minor. It must have come to China and India by eighth century. The main poppy cultivated areas are China, Asia Minor and the Balkans. When incisions are made into the un-ripened capsules of poppy plant, milk oozes and with spontaneous evaporation, gets thickened. It is known as opium.
Opium if used cautiously can be a very useful drug.

Seeds of poppy plant are used for medicinal purposes.


It is an annual herb which is erect and has latex and smooth surface in all parts.


This herb has several therapeutic powers like:

  • Poppy seeds are used to relieve irritation and inflammation of the stomach, fever and thirst. The root of the plant is used in various cooling medicines.
  • An infusion made from the root of the plant is used as a febrifuge or fever relieving medicine.
  • The powder is used to relieve bilious complaints. As the root possesses stimulating properties, it is used as a tonic.


Poppy seeds contain protein, moisture, fat fiber and also large amounts of carbohydrates. These seeds also contain minerals like phosphorous and calcium. It has a calorific value of 408.

The sap of the poppy plant contains opium and oxalic acid. It has around 25 alkaloids like codeine, morphine, narceine, narcotine and papaverine.


This herb acts as a relieve for many ailments. Some of these are:

  • Insomnia: Around 30 grams of milk which is extracted from the seeds is useful in relieving insomnia.
  • Dysentery: For relieving dysentery, around quarter teaspoon of poppy seeds powder should be sautéed till golden brown and mixed with honey. This paste should be consumed two times a day for a maximum of three days.
  • Aches and pains: Poppy seeds which have not been spilt produce opium which has soporific properties. They are useful for relieving pain. The seeds are beneficial in relieving griping pain after delivery pain in the testicles and colic. Opium is used in relieving tumors of various kinds, rheumatism, cancers, abscesses, carbuncles, syphilis and ulcers. The usual dosage is around 6 centigrams of the extract. Opium is useful in reducing spasms of bowels, relives pain and irritation of the bladder caused by stones.
  • Burning sensation and heat: When applied externally, poppy shows several uses. A paste made from the root of the plant can be applied to reduce burning sensation of the body. The paste can be used to relieve fevers as well.
  • Dry itch: Poppy seeds when ground to a paste along with lime juice and rubbed on the areas affected by itching relieve the symptoms.
  • Muscular and other pains: Opium is used for soothing both neuralgic and muscular pains. The liniment should be prepared by mixing opium and coconut oil. It is effective in relieving painful piles as well. For relief from pain in tooth cavity, a centigram of opium should be placed into the hollow of the tooth. But the saliva should not be swallowed.


Opium should be consumed only in the prescribed dosage. It should be administered only under the guidance of a practitioner. Infants, young children should not be given opium. It should be avoided during pregnancy and people who suffer from kidney diseases should not use opium.

The herb should be used in the prescribed dosages. Over dosage may lead to unknown complications. It is better to consult a registered medical practitioner for right dosage and usage.


Currently there are no Planet Ayurveda Products that use this herb as an ingredient in them; however the below mentioned Planet Ayurveda products are useful in some conditions for which Poppy is used:

Ayurveda products are manufactured with 100 percent natural and vegetarian ingredients, without any chemicals or preservatives. We rely on ancient Ayurvedic texts to prepare all the medicines. We do not encourage testing of our products on animals. All the medicines and herbal supplements undergo quality checks at various levels.
Please opt for Planet Ayurveda products and seek good health.